I received a call yesterday from my mom giving her condolenses for my grandfather. I had yet to hear anything so it was kind of bitter sweet to hear about his passing in this manner. This was not an abrupt loss as he had been fighting differing conditions for some time, but the sting was no less painful just the same. I happened to be working from home at that time since returning the day before from the Florida trip. So sitting at home, alone and trying to concentrate staring into a 12″ screen was slightly difficult. I decided I had to get out.
It was 45 degrees outside and very over cast. The threat of rain loomed all around me. I did not care. The rain beating on me would have just made the run all that much more numbing. I changed appropriately, strapped on my Fuel Belt with fluids, gel pack and Ipod in tow and headed out to a nearby trail. I had already told myself I was going to run it from end to end twice, which is exactly what I did.
Around mile 8 I almost needed a flashlight as it became so dark. Even with my feet and legs screaming at me, I was able to pick up my speed by a full minute for a mile and a half repeating to myself “do you really want to get wet this close to the end?”. At that point my mind caught up with my body and the slow down was inevitable. The large drops I was feeling just minutes ago had stopped and the black threatening cloud had moved slightly off to the side.
When I finally passed the last post marking the end of my journey, my head was clearer, my chest felt lighter and I could breathe again. I was now able to think of all the good memories I had of my grandfather. He was always such the comic being as he was a traveling saleman. So our group family dinners always contained many of the jokes he would share with his customers. Now this was almost 40 years of me hearing different jokes. Think about it, that is a lot of jokes. The fact that he left us on April Fool’s day just seemed appropriate. This thought brought a warm smile to my heart.
However much I may be hobbling around today, that 11 mile run was not only good for my training, but medicine for my soul.
Originally posted on The Loop April 2, 2011